Gnoll Last Names

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Hey Everyone,
I am making a Gnoll Barbarian and I am trying to think of a last name. The first name is Hectael, I am still working on a background. Thanks for your suggestion
-Depends on the setting, really. I'd go with something that sounds like a bark, though.
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Depends, do you want it in gnoll or in Common?

If he's a Barbarian, his last name could be "...son of (insert name here)," or "Of the (insert region here)," or "of the (insert Clan Name here)." Last names show lineage, occupations, homelands, character traits, etc.

You could always have him say, "Well, in my language it is *growling and barking* but in your language, it roughly translates to "Fur tinged with the red of spilled blood."

Hope this helps!
Thirded. I once introduced a gnoll PC as something like "Garrrraaaoouuuaaoouu". They just called him "Gary".
Gnolls don't strike me as the kind of race that'd use last names the way humans do. Maybe you could have a nickname that describes a defining characteristic, or possibly some honorific that describes his (former) position in the pack.
Gnolls don't strike me as the kind of race that'd use last names the way humans do. Maybe you could have a nickname that describes a defining characteristic, or possibly some honorific that describes his (former) position in the pack.

I agree. I imagine most savage humanoids don't have last names at all--or if they do, not like we do.

I would think that a pack creature such as a gnoll, if it had a last name at all, it would be the name of his tribe--such as "Gary of tribe Bloodmoon."
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"Son of ______" sounds appropriate...

Hectael, son of Hawknails?
Thank you for the input. Now that I think about it Hectael of the _____ Clan seems to be appropriate. Thanks for hte help now I just have to think of a good clan name any suggestions?
Hectael of the Six Scars Clan
Hectael of the Muddy Heads Clan
Hectael of the Painted Cave Clan
Hectael of the Hollow Valley Clan
Hectael of the Blood River Clan
Hectael of the War Talker Clan
Tribe can also be used instead of Clan:

i.e. Hectael of the Mankiller tribe, ... Bloody Fangs, ... Sharp Claws, ... Liver Eaters etc.
Hyhukhuk, First Smeller of Tasty Rotten Owlbear Flesh

Ceterum censeo capsum rubeum esse delendam

Dog-like, I suspect that they respond best to simple, uncomplicated, two-syllable names.

<-- Always wanted to play a gnoll named "Precious" from the "lapdog" clan, that chases after her/his favorite PC-race character and lives for a scritch under the chin. Just knows that it'd get old might fast.

Gnolls don't strike me as the kind of race that'd use last names the way humans do. Maybe you could have a nickname that describes a defining characteristic, or possibly some honorific that describes his (former) position in the pack.

Aren't gnolls more related to hyenas than wolves or dogs?

Ceterum censeo capsum rubeum esse delendam

Yeah, they resemble hyena's more. Hyena's also hunt in packs like wolves do.
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Well, hyenas are usually scavangers, trying to scare aware other animals. And their barking is quite different from dogs.

I don't know if a hyena identifies itself by its pack. I have never talked to one :D

I envision them more centered on themselves, what they have done. But I may be totally wrong...

Ceterum censeo capsum rubeum esse delendam

I wouldn't use a last name (as several other posters have mentioned), and I also wouldn't use a son-of/of X clan denomination (and remember they are usually a matriarchal society, or at least trace lineage through the women).
I suggest using a deed name as a proxy last name. Something like Hectael Chases Parked Carts, or Hectael Fells with One Blow.

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Define "last name."

Surnames as we use them today are actually a fairly recent development in the grand course of human history. Until a few hundred years ago, surnames are descriptive terms or nicknames used to differentiate people with the same given name: David Baker makes bread, but David Bywater is a cobbler and lives near the river.

Names based on place were local things. The nearby lake or river, a hill upon which the person lived, or similar feature. These locative surnames were exclusive to the town or area. Generally, a person was not named after a large place (like a city) until they had left that place. At home, Drystan is called Drystan Davidson after his father, but if he were to travel to another city, he might be called Drystan of Wyewood, after his home region.

Sometimes these names were based on patronage: Tristan William's Son over time corrupted into Tristan Williamson. Can you guess who Hildegard Olafsdottir's father may have been?

Beyond surnames based on patronage, location or profession, some were also descriptive. Gabriel Halfhand is missing three fingers on his right hand. Descriptive surnames are also literal: a surname of Drakeshand, for example, would not mean "he strikes with a dragon's talons," but rather "his hand looks like a dragon's claw."

Remember, a surname is given to you by other people; it is not something you pick for yourself.


So for the OP's purposes, since we can assume a local locative surname would be impractical, picking a defining physical characteristic, a pastoral surname or a larger-scale locative surname (clan/tribe/pack works as well here, as other have mentioned) would be appropriate.

Thus, we arrive to some examples:

Hectael Blacksnout (if his muzzle were of notably darker fur color than the rest of him)
Hectael Brokentooth (if he has a prominently broken fang)
Hectael One-ear (if one of his ears was missing or damaged)
Hectael of Red Mountain (if his tribe/pack/clan hailed from a place called Red Mountain)
Hectael Wolfwood (if his tribe/pack/clan came from a place the other races knew as Wolfwood)
Hectael Garsson (if Hectael's father was called Gar)




From here, knowing how surnames came about in humans before they became the inherited surnames we use today, we can construct appropriate surnames from cultures that may place importance on other factors. For example, in a heavily meritocratic society that used ritual scarification to signify great deeds, Hectael Tenscars might be a mighty and feared name indeed. Surnames based on merit or deed would fall more closely in line with the modern concept of a nickname, callsign, or handle, though once again, surnames of any form are given to you, not chosen by you. So if our hypothetical gnoll were unremarkable or a coward in a meritocratic society, he might be called Hectael Unscarred instead -as great a mark of shame as his lack of branding.

So there you go. Hope it helps some.




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And the gods bless you for that! That was a very informative post! I didn't realize that was how I've generally been picking surnames for non-human characters, and it drives my players crazy when related NPCs don't have the same last name. For example, I have a drey (from Goodman Games) NPC named Grev Brokeneye. He was beaten and left for dead by his chieftess and taken as a servant by a drow patrol. He proved useful enough to be healed, but some damage to his brow had already set, so the healing magic wouldn't fix it. After all, it had healed already. His son, also taken as a servant by the drow, adopted his master's first name, Gromph (yep, the archmage got him), to indicate that he belonged to Gromph, but took the surname Grevson. It took them a long time to realize that Grev Brokeneye was Gromph Grevson's father, even though it was spelled out quite plainly (in my opinion). To keep things straight, Gromph calls him N'gromph, meaning "Not Gromph".
Well, hyenas are usually scavangers, trying to scare aware other animals. And their barking is quite different from dogs.

I don't know if a hyena identifies itself by its pack. I have never talked to one :D

I envision them more centered on themselves, what they have done. But I may be totally wrong...





Actually, hyenas (especially spotted hyenas) live In large packs led by the females; the largest known pack had 80 hyenas.

Also, hyenas aren't just scavengers; whether lion steals from hyena or hyena from lion can change from night to night.
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